Jackson Browne & Leslie Mendelson Share ‘A Human Touch’ Single

By Scott Bernstein Jul 11, 2019 9:28 am PDT

Singer-songwriters Jackson Browne and Leslie Mendelson teamed up to record a beautiful new single entitled “A Human Touch.” The song plays over the end-credits of 5B, a new documentary profiling the doctors and nurses who helped victims of AIDS at a hospital in San Francisco in the early days of the epidemic.

Browne was introduced to Mendelson by 5B co-director Paul Haggis. Leslie and longtime collaborator Steve McEwan wrote “A Human Touch” with help from Jackson. “They came up with this great song, most of it, really, although I added a few lines,” Browne told Billboard’s Gary Graff. “But because it was so good and in the right direction, it wasn’t hard to get involved and schedule it in. I’ve never done that kind of writing collaboration, where you book a room and you sit down for an hour…and it was great. I love those two, and they’re great friends now.”

Jackson Browne described to experience of working with Mendelson and McEwan to Graff:

“It was an interesting thing to collaborate on a subject like this. In very few cases and very few times have I gotten into a discussion with anybody about a line and what it’s supposed to mean. Some of these songs can be indistinct in their meaning. We really got into every line and nearly every word in depth to make sure it was what we wanted to say and convey in the song, because (5B) is such a human movie and really shows the courage and humanity of these nurses and the hospital staff and the population of people who were just suddenly struck by this epidemic and were devastated by it.”

“I couldn’t believe how much he sounded like Jackson Browne — I know that sounds silly, but it was quite surreal,” Mendelson explained to Graff. “Growing up on his records, you just know that sound. He’s one of the greats.” Browne mentioned he hopes to collaborate with Mendelson and McEwan again in the future.

Watch the video for “A Human Touch,” which premiered via Billboard and intersperses footage of Jackson and Leslie performing with footage from 5B:

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